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Ken Rides in a Model T Ford

Ken, 90 year-old from Brookdale Pinecrest in Largo, FL, has lived a hard-working life as a husband, father, volunteer and war veteran. At age 18, Ken enlisted in the Navy during WWII because he wanted to help win the war for our country. He remains proud of his time in the service, which played a big role in his lifelong patriotism. Kenneth also served in his local community holding public office, while volunteering for 4-H, an organization that introduced young generations to the importance of agriculture and farming.

Through all of his experiences, Ken’s mind always returned to one thing—the Model T Ford. The Model T is generally regarded as the most influential car of the 20th century, as it opened travel to the common middle-class American. He has had a fascination with Model T Fords for 75 years, but he has never gotten to ride in one. He remembers being 15—his neighbor had one up on concrete blocks. He admired the car for a while before asking if he would be willing to sell it to him so that he could fix it up himself. The neighbor agreed to sell his Model T to him for $5, where they then shook on it, and that was that. Two months later, Ken brought the money that he saved up back to his neighbor to learn that the price of the car had risen to $7. “To me a handshake is like a written contract. I didn’t have the additional $2 at the time and two weeks later, the man sold the car to someone else. All my life I have regretted losing my dream car to such a small amount of money, and now I am too old to own one,” said Ken.

Ken claims he had never seen another Model T Ford other than his neighbor’s until approximately 10 years ago when he saw a guy driving one. Though Ken tried to haul him down and drive after him, he sadly never found the car. Ken was never able to let go of his desire to drive in a Model T and wanted nothing more than to accomplish this Wish. “It would be a lifelong dream come true and would reconnect me with my youth,” he said. Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale in partnership with the Suncoast T Club in St. Petersburg, Florida, granted Kenneth’s Wish of a Lifetime on June 25th, 2016. Kenneth, his daughter and his niece were picked up from Brookdale Pinecrest for an unforgettable ride. Ironically, he was able to ride in a 1926 Model T Ford, the same year that Ken was born.

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Photography by Linda Reitz of Coffee House Photography

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